Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Sharpe has a lot to say on induction day
By Bill Williamson
It’s been joked about in the past three days that Shannon Sharpe and Deion Sanders will compete in August for the longest Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech in Canton, Ohio.
Both players were elected Saturday.
In a radio interview with a Denver station, Sharpe made it clear he is going to take his full allotted speech time so he can address all the important people in his life, starting with his beloved grandmother. That’s no surprise. Like Sanders, Sharpe’s was one of the game’s all-time most loquacious players. Sharpe said in the interview that he has been preparing his speech for the 42 years he's been alive.
"The thing is, I have been thinking about the speech for 42 years,” Sharpe said.”The thing is with something like this there are moments and people in your life that make it very, very easy and the thing is when people are like ‘when you speak do you ever write it down?’ This will be the first time that I actually write something down that I talk about because when you write it down it’s too well-rehearsed and I want it to be heartfelt. The only reason I’m going to write it down this time is because I want to make sure that 25 years from now when people hear this speech that I make sure I didn’t leave anybody out. They want you to be between eight and twelve minutes. Well I can talk for an hour about my grandmother alone. But I’m gonna have to throw Mike Shanahan in there, I’m gonna have to mention Dan Reeves, I’m gonna have to talk about my high school coach William Hall, I’m gonna have to talk about my sister, my kids, the guys I played with that helped me get to here, but I want to make sure I do my grandmother justice. Most of the people that will listen to my voice in that stadium or watching me on television will have never seen my grandmother, but when I’m done they will know who she is and they will know why I am who I am.”